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Medicus Audiobook

Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire

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Publisher's Summary

Gaius Petrius Ruso is a divorced and down-on-his-luck army doctor who has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. His arrival in Deva (more commonly known today as Chester, England) does little to improve his mood, and after a 36-hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to a moment of weakness and rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner.

Now he has a new problem: a slave who won't talk and can't cook, and drags trouble in her wake. Before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar.

A few years earlier, after he rescued Emperor Trajan from an earthquake in Antioch, Ruso seemed headed for glory: now he's living among heathens in a vermin-infested bachelor pad and must summon all his forensic knowledge to find a killer who may be after him next.

Who are the true barbarians, the conquered or the conquerors? It's up to Ruso (certainly the most likeable sleuth to come out of the Roman Empire) to discover the truth. With a gift for comic timing and historic detail, Ruth Downie has conjured an ancient world as raucous and real as our own.

©2007 Ruth Downie; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Downie's auspicious debut sparkles with beguiling characters and a vividly imagined evocation of a hazy frontier." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fans of Alexander McCall Smith will delight in this series debut set in Roman-occupied Britain and featuring wry army doctor Gaius Petreius Ruso." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (2332 )
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4.4 (1798 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jnilvr 07-27-17
    Jnilvr 07-27-17 Member Since 2017

    I am a voracious consumer of the written, and spoken word. History, philosophy, adventure, not too much romance.

    ratings
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    13
    4
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    Story
    "I greatly enjoyed the entire series."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Medicus to be better than the print version?

    ?...who reads books anymore?


    What did you like best about this story?

    My first impression was a lack of detail. When I say detail I mean Gary Jennings and Patrick O'Brian detail. But it's ok. Too much detail would hide the intricate plots and character development.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    When I see the name Simon Vance as narrator I know I'm in for a good story.


    Any additional comments?

    I went through these too fast. I hope another is on its way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Y. Sangster Lawrenceville , GA USA 07-24-17
    Y. Sangster Lawrenceville , GA USA 07-24-17 Member Since 2016
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    5
    2
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    Story
    "I love this series wish there were more"

    I love this series wish there was more the other books I saw by the author are not yet in audio. The series keeps you interested they are a page turners can't wait for the next day to listen some more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alisson Furman NJ 06-27-17
    Alisson Furman NJ 06-27-17 Member Since 2014
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    9
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    "Ridiculously boring"

    I got through 2/3 and quit. I could not spend another 4 hours of my life hearing about Roman hospital audits and outstanding loans. If you love tales of bureaucracy with a hint of murder-mystery then this book is for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    oliver 06-19-17
    oliver 06-19-17 Member Since 2016
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    40
    6
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    Story
    "Pretty good"

    I enjoyed it up to the preachy afterthought. Everyone knows it's bad, if you are going to crusade against it at least recommend a verified charity for your cause.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mama Z Irvine, CA 06-18-17
    Mama Z Irvine, CA 06-18-17 Member Since 2015

    Maya Ziegler

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
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    Story
    "Good story, but no sense of time or place."

    Enjoyed the mystery, but there were very few times I actually got the sense of ton place in Roman times. I stuck with it only to learn the outcome

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    judy manno 06-10-17
    judy manno 06-10-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    6
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    "A Pleasant Surprise"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Medicus to be better than the print version?

    Most definitely. Simon Vance provides such rich cadence to the voice of each character. He really brings them all to life in a way that I did not quite imagine while reading the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Medicus?

    I don't want to give away anything. However, let's just say that the ending is quite satisfying.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    The Medicus, of course. He would make for an amusing character on film.


    Who was the most memorable character of Medicus and why?

    The penny pinching hospital administrator who serves as the Medicus' nemesis. Great, great character.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this book, you won't be disappointed. I have already gone ahead and purchased the next 2 in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. J. Christensen Tucson, AZ. 06-07-17
    M. J. Christensen Tucson, AZ. 06-07-17 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
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    Performance
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    "A Roman Doctor In Britain"

    Enjoyable start to this mystery series set in Roman-occupied Britain. But I didn't feel immersed in the place and time (not like I do, for instance, in the historical novels of David Liss). Perhaps the next novels in the series will give me more of the feeling of being in the time period. This novel was interesting and I got caught up in the mystery. Simon Vance is a great narrator and doesn't disappoint here - I don't think I would have liked the book as well if I was reading it instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ReallyNelie 06-06-17
    ReallyNelie 06-06-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    14
    5
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    "Fun mystery set in Roman Britain"

    I enjoyed this first in a series enough that I can see myself getting hooked. I should say that I've been an avid reader of history and archaeological findings about the period of Roman Britain for decades and I'm a lover of mysteries as well especially with a strong female lead as well as a male. It's hard to do a historically believable string female in most of history because women have been oppressed in one way or another. This book manages to walk that line with the female character being a native who is a slave and is oppressed in that role but thanks to the male lead not nearly as much as she could be. That's another thing I like about this book is it doesn't really gloss over the grim reality of female slaves often being sex slaves and in her afterword the author makes clear this is still a reality in many places in the world. But despite this not being glossed it doesn't distract from a good plot with moments of humor as well. I found the whodoneit part actually secondary to historical details and characters but it was a good wrap up to that part as well. The reader for this did a great job too. Can't wait to hear the second in The series

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Lynn 06-01-17
    J. Lynn 06-01-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't expect to learn about the Roman Empire"

    When I saw this book as the Audible Daily Deal a few months ago, I thought it looked very interesting: the state of medicine in Roman times. I was imagining a depiction of life so long ago like I had experienced in Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth, or Michael Crichton's Timeline. While I didn't expect a sweeping epic like Pillars, I looked forward to learning more about Roman society and the medical techniques in use at the time. I was sorely disappointed to read about a doctor working in a hospital that had orderlies, nurses, administrators, and a chief medical officer. I half expected an MRI machine to pop out at any time. There was no description of the medical procedures. Early in the book, the Medicus operates on a broken arm. The author did not attempt to describe wheat the knowledge of human anatomy was at the time, or any details of what the doctor was actually doing to repair the arm.

    This story could have taken place at any time. There is very little description of daily life: buildings, meals, dress, etc. This seems to be a fully-functioning society with a pub/brothel, bakery, markets, etc. So as a historical novel, it falls completely flat.

    This book is a murder whodunit. But we are reminded over and over again that the doctor is not investigating the deaths, and he isn't. Eventually clues and evidence fall into his lap until the crime is solved. There is no suspense, the characters are very one-dimensional. I listened to this while doing some long yard-work sessions over a weekend. I was tempted to stop it and move on to something else, but I stuck it through to the end hoping it would pick up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kethan 05-23-17
    Kethan 05-23-17
    ratings
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    8
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    "Predictable, uninteresting, setting not as vivid as one might hope"

    Predictable, uninteresting, setting not as vivid as one might hope. Character backstories minimal. Good narration, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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